This article is part of our Yahoo DFS Baseball series.
It can be hard to look at the early results from this baseball season and not overreact. You see the Red Sox and Cubs at the bottom of their divisions and raise an eyebrow. Hitters start off red-hot, or ice-cold. That's why many of us repeat the mantra of 'small sample size' at this time of the year. Last season's stats can still tell us more than this year's numbers. Sunday, as per usual, means a busy afternoon of baseball. So let's dig into some of the info that can help you put together your daily fantasy lineup
If you are willing to splash the cash on a pitcher, Mike Clevinger ($53) pops out to me. He certainly made noise in his first start of the year, blanking the White Sox for seven innings while managing 12 strikeouts. The 28-year-old sported a 3.02 ERA last season, and he's always been a strikeout pitcher. Toronto had a middling offense last season, and they don't have a single bat that wows me. That is, at least until Vladimir Guerrero Jr. makes his debut.
For a few bucks less, you can grab Chris Archer ($40) at home against the Cincinnati Reds. Things didn't go perfect for the former Ray after being traded to Pittsburgh, but he struck out 10.32 hitters per nine innings with the Pirates. Over his last three seasons, he's averaged 10.45 strikeouts per nine. I know I already preached not getting too worked up about small sample sizes, but the Reds have won only one game this season and sit last in runs scored.
As a rookie, Brad Keller ($39) recorded a 3.08 ERA switching between being a relief pitcher and a starter. This year, he's secured a role in the rotation and has already made two starts. They've gone well, as he's posted a 2.08 ERA. The Tigers have struggled offensively to start the year, and last season ranked 26th in runs scored with a .300 OBP.
Sure, Christian Yelich ($27) is as expensive as any outfielder. But, you know, that's with good reason. He won NL MVP last year in part because he hit 36 homers and stole 22 bases. Yelich crushed it at home too, with a 1.061 OPS at Miller Park. Kyle Hendricks turned heads with his 2.13 ERA in 2016, but the last two seasons he's had FIPs of 3.92 and 3.82.
Nolan Arenado ($21) hasn't registered a home run yet this season, but don't sweat it. He hasn't failed to hit fewer than 37 dingers in any of his last four campaigns. Plus, he's still playing his home games in Coors Field, and he crushes lefties. Since 2017, he has a 1.239 OPS against southpaws. You know who is a lefty? The Dodgers' projected starter Julio Urias.
Gleyber Torres ($17) is far from the biggest name on the Yankees, but he's got a nice bat for a shortstop - even by 2019 standards. As a rookie last year, he slashed .271/.340/.480 with 24 homers in 123 games. However, if you only take away one fact in Torres' favor, make it this: Baltimore's David Hess struggled with a 5.84 FIP last year.
And if you want a real cheap, but intriguing option, take a look at Anaheim's Justin Bour ($9). He's hit over 20 homers in the three seasons in which he's played over 100 games. Though the lefty has struggled against his fellow southpaws, he's hit righties fine. Shelby Miller is a right hander, he's barely pitched since 2016, and it hasn't gone well when he has.
There are two stacks that have me excited for Sunday. One is the Dodgers, naturally. They've boasted the best offense in baseball so far, and their lineup is filled to the brim with potent bats. Los Angeles is finishing off a series with the Rockies at Coors Field, and Chad Bettis is on the mound with his career 4.54 FIP. So feel free to grab Justin Turner ($24), Corey Seager ($22), Cody Bellinger ($27) and - since Bettis is a righty - Max Muncy ($21). That's a lot of pricey bats, but they should pay off.
I know the Red Sox have been a disappointment, but I still can't look at their lineup and worry - especially since they are in Arizona and are facing Merrill Kelly. Kelly is a 30-year-old who spent the past three seasons in Korea. In his first Major League start, he allowed three runs in six innings. Color me skeptical. He's a righty, so you can put Andrew Benintendi ($16) in your lineup. They will probably try and work J.D. Martinez ($25) into the lineup, since he sat Saturday. I also wouldn't mind taking a shot on Rafael Devers ($19).